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Laptop replacement questions
Old 10-12-2018, 02:38 PM   #1
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Laptop replacement questions

I have not been computer shopping for quite a while. Current lap top is a 9 year old HP G60-535DX. Originally supplied with Windows 7, but updated to Windows 10 (Probably a big mistake). Lately it is VERY slow browsing the web, which is the primary use. Never bothered to buy Windows Office, as Windows Works was adequate for our simple word processing and spread sheet needs.

I am not a computer geek. One of the perks when I was working was the IT folks were willing to help with problems/questions, even if it was not the company laptop. I know there are many here with far more knowledge than I, so I am looking for a little guidance. In no particular order, here are a few areas for discussion:

SSD vs Traditional hard drive: Increases the price, and the capacity is smaller (without going crazy on price), but the cost of memory sticks is so low I could just put all the photos on sticks, and cut the HD storage in half. Make sense to go this route?

Memory: currently have 4 GB. Looks like new PC's come with a minimum of 8 GB, and 16 GB is pretty common. Is 16 GB really better, or will 8 GB be adequate.

Word Processing and Spread sheets: looks like Works is obsolete, and no longer provided free with Windows. I don't have disks, so I don't think I can transfer it to a new computer (or can I?) MS is pushing Office 365 subscriptions. I just can't see spending $70-100/year for the very limited needs we have. Ideas?

Brand: I have been happy with the HP, have a HP printer that works fine for now, so will probably stay with HP, all else being equal. Comments?

Where to buy: I have looked at Sam's, Walmart, Best Buy and on-line. I like the idea of having access to help, so leaning to Best Buy. Ideas?

Making the transition: The last time I did this the old computer was so old, and our internet use was so low, that I simply transferred a few files, and recreated everything else. Does it make sense to pay for some one, like Geek Squad, to transfer files (guessing this costs $100 or so), or is it still simple to DIY? My biggest concern is not transferring any malware, bugs, etc. that may reside on the current PC (I did just run Malwarebytes, and do use McAfee, provided by ATT internet provider). Related to this, should I be using McAfee, or is Windows 10 Defender adequate? I do NOT back up to the cloud, and don't have any back ups. I will fix that with a new back up drive at the same time. Primarily use Chrome for browsing. Will my favorites transfer automatically when I make the change, or it there something I need to do?

Sorry for the long post. If you are still with me, I would appreciate any guidance you can provide
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
SSD vs Traditional hard drive: Increases the price, and the capacity is smaller (without going crazy on price), but the cost of memory sticks is so low I could just put all the photos on sticks, and cut the HD storage in half. Make sense to go this route?
I no longer store anything locally.

Everything is in Google - Google Photos, Sheets, Docs, etc.

Quote:
Memory: currently have 4 GB. Looks like new PC's come with a minimum of 8 GB, and 16 GB is pretty common. Is 16 GB really better, or will 8 GB be adequate.
It depends what applications you will be running.

If you mostly surf the web, 8 GB is more than adequate.

Quote:
Word Processing and Spread sheets: looks like Works is obsolete, and no longer provided free with Windows. I don't have disks, so I don't think I can transfer it to a new computer (or can I?) MS is pushing Office 365 subscriptions. I just can't see spending $70-100/year for the very limited needs we have. Ideas?
I haven't found the need for Office.

Wordpad is fine for most folks and comes with Windows. Google Sheets is a terrific Excel replacement.

You should try without it, then add it only if you find you need it.

Quote:
Brand: I have been happy with the HP, have a HP printer that works fine for now, so will probably stay with HP, all else being equal. Comments?
I've always preferred Dells. I have an XPS-13 that works quite well for me.

Quote:
Where to buy: I have looked at Sam's, Walmart, Best Buy and on-line. I like the idea of having access to help, so leaning to Best Buy. Ideas?
Once you decide on the system you want, just purchase it wherever you can find it the cheapest. I like Amazon, but I always check other sources first.

Quote:
Making the transition: The last time I did this the old computer was so old, and our internet use was so low, that I simply transferred a few files, and recreated everything else. Does it make sense to pay for some one, like Geek Squad, to transfer files (guessing this costs $100 or so), or is it still simple to DIY?
I've never paid someone to do this for me.

Quote:
My biggest concern is not transferring any malware, bugs, etc. that may reside on the current PC (I did just run Malwarebytes, and do use McAfee, provided by ATT internet provider). Related to this, should I be using McAfee, or is Windows 10 Defender adequate?
I find Windows Defender adequate.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:23 PM   #3
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I run Win7 on a vintage HP Pavilion G6. I find that I have to run CrapCleaner every week or so to keep the speed up from all the web sites that clutter up your system. My 750 GB disk is not yet full. I backup to a WD drive. I use OneDrive, DropBox, Google Drive and iCloud for special projects that I want to share. Libre Office provides more than enough tools for other apps.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:32 PM   #4
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OK. One big unknown answered. No need for Office. Between Wordpad, Google Sheets and Libre, all bases covered. Thanks a bunch.

I may disable McAfee and use only Defender for a while. I often wonder if the two "fight" each other and that is part of the problem.

Not familiar with CrapCleaner, but will look at it.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:34 PM   #5
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You need something to keep your browsers safe.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:48 PM   #6
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If you do not currently have access to a full-featured word processor such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, consider Open Office. I have not used it myself, but I have heard good things about it from many people who have used it. Best of all, it is free! You can download it from: Apache OpenOffice - Official Site - The Free and Open Productivity Suite
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:51 PM   #7
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You need something to keep your browsers safe.
And, that would be?
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
SSD vs Traditional hard drive: Increases the price, and the capacity is smaller (without going crazy on price), but the cost of memory sticks is so low I could just put all the photos on sticks, and cut the HD storage in half. Make sense to go this route?
SSD is noticeably faster an more reliable. But if you’re not accessing your HD that often, speed might not be a big factor for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan
Memory: currently have 4 GB. Looks like new PC's come with a minimum of 8 GB, and 16 GB is pretty common. Is 16 GB really better, or will 8 GB be adequate.
More is better, but you’d be fine with 8GB with what you’re doing. But I’d check the premium for 16GB since you don’t upgrade hardware often. Future OS’s May run better with more RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan
Word Processing and Spread sheets: looks like Works is obsolete, and no longer provided free with Windows. I don't have disks, so I don't think I can transfer it to a new computer (or can I?) MS is pushing Office 365 subscriptions. I just can't see spending $70-100/year for the very limited needs we have. Ideas?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
OK. One big unknown answered. No need for Office. Between Wordpad, Google Sheets and Libre, all bases covered. Thanks a bunch.
Wordpad is fine, but really basic, not a word processor.

You mention below you don’t use the cloud. Google Docs are popular and very good apps. But unlike Libre (so far), Google Sheets/Docs will save your files to their cloud automatically. They’re not giving you free software without data mining your files in exchange. I think you can download Google Docs files to your local PC, but Google will save your files too. Some people are fine providing (personal) data in trade for “free” software, some aren’t.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan
Brand: I have been happy with the HP, have a HP printer that works fine for now, so will probably stay with HP, all else being equal. Comments?
Another Dell disciple here, we’ve had several Dell desktops and laptops over the past 30 years without any problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan
Making the transition: The last time I did this the old computer was so old, and our internet use was so low, that I simply transferred a few files, and recreated everything else. Does it make sense to pay for some one, like Geek Squad, to transfer files (guessing this costs $100 or so), or is it still simple to DIY? My biggest concern is not transferring any malware, bugs, etc. that may reside on the current PC (I did just run Malwarebytes, and do use McAfee, provided by ATT internet provider). Related to this, should I be using McAfee, or is Windows 10 Defender adequate?
I always do my own transfers. Windows Defender should be fine, but does your ISP provide free protection - XFinity gives us a Norton Suite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan
I do NOT back up to the cloud, and don't have any back ups. I will fix that with a new back up drive at the same time. Primarily use Chrome for browsing.
You really should do backups, easy to automate. As you may know, Chrome is a Google product.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:00 PM   #9
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I ditched every thing PC and migrated to Apple products about five years ago and only wished I had done it sooner. After the initial learning curve which isn't steep by any means you'll be asking yourself why you waited so long. It is so nice having everything on the same platform, iPhone, Desktop, Mac Mini, Laptop, Macbook Air and iPads (3). Just my two cents.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:02 PM   #10
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Normally I would say throw in a SSD and do a clean Windows 10 reinstall. But given the age of the processor I think your going to need something new. Last resort would be try a SSD with Ubuntu and see if you can work with that. I recently picked up a 120GB SSD for $20 and run Ubuntu with Win 10 in Virtualbox if I need Windows. 4 GB should be enough for light work.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:11 PM   #11
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I would just buy a new cheap laptop. Go to Best Buy and get one of their cheapest laptops. I think I paid around $325 when I did this for my dad. Do this while your current computer is still working. A year from now, you’ll have any important data off your old machine and be comfortable that you’re fully transitioned. Then, take the old laptop to a recycle center and be done with it. Personally, I take the hard drive out first.

I just checked Best Buy and they have a HP for $299 with 4gb memory and a 1tb hard drive. You’ll see such an improvement over what you have, there’s no need to spend more unless you want to blow that dough.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:27 PM   #12
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I'm not fond of the idea of asking and paying big moola for the Geek Squad to transfer old data to new pc. Seem like you pc data needs aren't too complicated. Might be a way to convert the Microsofts Works data to Open Office (or Libre Office) readable.

If you're new laptop will be Windows 10 and you don't care for the tiles of the Start Menu, I suggest Start10 software from a company called Stardock software. Not totally free, but near for about $5.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:32 PM   #13
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Thanks all for your help.

What I am hearing (does that sound like a w*rk catch phrase?) is:

SSD is nice, but for what we use, not really needed. I can get 1 terabyte HD really cheap. Way more than I need.

Consider using the cloud for back-ups. Considering the amount of data mining going on already, probably not a big risk.

More RAM is better, considering I don't upgrade often. I will consider the price difference.

Try Apple. I have an IPhone, but really resent the Apple TAX. May not continue with them. I have had problems connecting my phone to iTunes on the current computer. That one I DO sync to the cloud.

Buy Cheap: Well that is us. Our computer demands are low. Like last time, anything we buy will be a vast improvement.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:36 PM   #14
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For data a regular HD will do, you only need the SSD for the OS. Even a 64GB SSD will easily fit Windows. I would highly recommend an SSD.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:40 PM   #15
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For data a regular HD will do, you only need the SSD for the OS. Even a 64GB SSD will easily fit Windows. I would highly recommend an SSD.
So, if the computer only has SSD, do I get an external HD?
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:40 PM   #16
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If you don't have the need for speed but want some speed improvement over plain old HDD, you can also get a SSHD which you use like an old HDD but the SSHD have a small amount of SSD for caching. Cost of a 1TB SSHD is only a tiny more than a HDD.

Another benefit of SSHD is you don't have to decide what goes on the SSD, what goes on HDD. The firmware of the SSHD does all that for you.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:50 PM   #17
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SSD vs Traditional hard drive: Increases the price, and the capacity is smaller (without going crazy on price), but the cost of memory sticks is so low I could just put all the photos on sticks, and cut the HD storage in half. Make sense to go this route?
I like my SSD drive because it seems faster. I am only using 116 GB out of 238GB and do not need as much hard drive space as you do. Hard drives are so cheap these days, and most laptops come with humungous hard drives so maybe you will find one with a big enough hard drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
Memory: currently have 4 GB. Looks like new PC's come with a minimum of 8 GB, and 16 GB is pretty common. Is 16 GB really better, or will 8 GB be adequate.
Probably 8 GB is adequate right now, and it is what my laptop has right now, but 16 GB would be great to prepare you for possibly increased needs in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
Word Processing and Spread sheets: looks like Works is obsolete, and no longer provided free with Windows. I don't have disks, so I don't think I can transfer it to a new computer (or can I?) MS is pushing Office 365 subscriptions. I just can't see spending $70-100/year for the very limited needs we have. Ideas?
I use Open Office, which is free to download and it is similar enough to Office that I don't miss Office at all. I save everything in Office format so that my files can be read on Office too, should that ever be necessary. I have heard that Libre Office (also free) is a lot like Open Office but even better. But I'm happy so I'm not going to switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
Brand: I have been happy with the HP, have a HP printer that works fine for now, so will probably stay with HP, all else being equal. Comments?
HP is a good brand. My latest laptop (purchased 18 months ago) is an Acer. I had never tried Acer before and wanted to try one. I like it and would buy an Acer again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
Where to buy: I have looked at Sam's, Walmart, Best Buy and on-line. I like the idea of having access to help, so leaning to Best Buy. Ideas?
Nothing wrong with Best Buy. I usually buy mine there, or Amazon, or Office Depot. Look around and compare prices. Newegg is supposed to have great prices but I keep forgetting to look there when I am shopping around for a new laptop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
Making the transition: The last time I did this the old computer was so old, and our internet use was so low, that I simply transferred a few files, and recreated everything else. Does it make sense to pay for some one, like Geek Squad, to transfer files (guessing this costs $100 or so), or is it still simple to DIY?
It's still really simple to DIY. I generally just transfer my data files over and re-install programs rather than bothering to transfer them. Don't forget that to transport your browser favorites you will probably need to export them and then import them on your new laptop. Other than that, it's pretty much just copying files over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
My biggest concern is not transferring any malware, bugs, etc. that may reside on the current PC (I did just run Malwarebytes, and do use McAfee, provided by ATT internet provider). Related to this, should I be using McAfee, or is Windows 10 Defender adequate? I do NOT back up to the cloud, and don't have any back ups. I will fix that with a new back up drive at the same time.
McAfee and Malwarebytes is probably fine. Personally I do not rely on Windows 10 Defender but apparently many people do with no problems. I use Norton and Malwarebytes.

Good idea to get a new back up drive! I do not back up to the cloud either, but back up regularly and frequently to multiple external hard drives.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:59 PM   #18
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I went with SSD for reliability. Carrying around a laptop is riskier with an HDD. Yeah, you can back it up and everything, but I'd rather not be without my laptop and have to get a new drive on a moment's notice. The speed is a bonus. Worth the extra price to me.

You could certainly store photos on a USB stub and keep it plugged into your laptop, but that's what I use for backup of data so I'd need another. (I do full backups to another drive less often.) I don't like sending everything to the cloud, but that is good off-site storage. I use that same stick to transfer data from an old laptop to a new. I reinstall any apps. No need to pay anyone.I take it out if I'm taking my laptop out of my house, so that if the laptop is lost or stolen, I still have a copy of my data. I like my photos accessible so I wouldn't put them on a large stick because I'd either break it carrying it around, or I'd be annoyed having to find it and plug it in to look at pictures. Those stubs are secure and barely stick out.

I use Eset for security. McAfee was such a hog. Maybe it's better now.

I replaced my Gateway with an Acer that was probably a Gateway (bought by Acer) because it's very similar, and I can use the same power supplies (now have a spare) and my extra RAM was compatible and could be moved over--probably compatible with most laptops but I don't know. I'm not really brand loyal, just look for good reliability and features I want for the price. I had Dells for awhile but had some quality issues--years ago.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:05 PM   #19
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I would just buy a new cheap laptop. Go to Best Buy and get one of their cheapest laptops. I think I paid around $325 when I did this for my dad. Do this while your current computer is still working. A year from now, you’ll have any important data off your old machine and be comfortable that you’re fully transitioned. Then, take the old laptop to a recycle center and be done with it. Personally, I take the hard drive out first.

I just checked Best Buy and they have a HP for $299 with 4gb memory and a 1tb hard drive. You’ll see such an improvement over what you have, there’s no need to spend more unless you want to blow that dough.



+1. If the OP plans to use it for another 10 years, he probably can step up to $500 range laptop. Minimum quad core cpu & 8 gb mem may be needed for streaming video with their resolution keeps going up.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:05 PM   #20
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When my old Windows machine died and I bought another from Micro Center, I also bought a hard drive enclosure thingie that the old hard drive fit into. It connects to the new computer via USB cord and the new computer recognizes it as a separate drive. I dragged the files I needed onto the new computer, but still have access to all the other old data. It was really cheap and really easy—Micro Center would have let me pay them to transfer everything but their schedule would have tied up my files for several days and I really didn’t need everything anyway. If I could do this, anyone can. Like this: https://m.zinstall.com/how-to-copy-p...&utm_referrer=

(I now have a MacBook Pro that I love but still do all financial stuff on the “new” Dell.)
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